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All I can say is: Wow! Tuesday, 6/3/14



For those who regularly read this blog, you know Jimmy and I can sometimes do some wild and crazy things. This morning, for instance, as we searched for a good hiking destination (someplace we haven't been to before), Jimmy spotted an area on a map called Alpine Meadows, which is adjacent to Squaw Valley. And he found us a hike called Five Lakes.  OK!  It's a whole new area for us, and we like to try new stuff. But, the hike begins at 6600 ft, with a 1000 ft elevation gain!  We drove to the trailhead and saw two older ladies descending.  We looked at each other and shrugged.  Heck, if they can do it, so can we!  

It's two-and-a-half miles up to the lakes.  Up we go!  

 The trail was steep, but the scenery... spectacular.

Mule's ears (Wyethia) dotted the hillsides before we ascended too far.  Patches of Indian Paintbrush, Scarlet gilia, Wild Lilac, Forget-me-not, and so many more brightened the trail.

Bizarre!  These two rock formations (for lack of a better explanation) abutted.  The whitish colored rock is granite.  The dark gray looked volcanic.  Strange to see up close!  (enlarge photo)

Yup, that's snow he's looking at!

Still going up!

We topped the ridge about here and the lakes are about a half mile more.  Now we're in the tall trees.

Our first lake glimpse.  The white patch in the rocks across the lake -- snow.


Because we saw no signs and had no guide, we weren't sure if the lake (above) was #1 lake or #5, so continued on, up, up, up. Even into patches of snow.  We crossed a stream, but eventually turned around and returned to what we later discovered was #5 lake.  A real gem.  That's where we ate our granola, perched on a rock at lake's edge, and that's where I took the header picture.  I saw one Bufflehead thru my binocs and we accidentally chased a dozing Mallard pair away from our rock perch!  The air was crisp and fresh, with brilliant sunshine and warm temps.  We wondered when we began the hike if it would be cold or cooler at 7600 ft, but - nope, we guessed in the low 70's.  Felt heavenly after hiking up those two-plus miles, mostly without shade.

Now we begin our descent, overlooking Alpine Meadows.  When we were nearing the end of our 5+ mile hike, our feet were talking to us!!  Tell you true -- it was tough both going up and coming down, because the trail's so steep.  But, this is what we do, me and Jimmy, and we like what we do.  We take it on, no matter what, give it a try, admire the views, and this time we were rewarded for our efforts by a great hike... and a serene alpine lake vista.

Tomorrow?  Let's do flat!

7 comments:

  1. There is nothing quite so invigorating as a hike in the gorgeous high country of the Sierras. The color of the light reflected by all that granite is legendary. Beautiful. Kneeeeeesss......will pay, but oh it is worth it. Congrats on your great hike!

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  2. and oh yes, I meant to say, all that great geology, with volcanics and old sediments sitting on top of the world on that granite are what made mapping in that country so challenging!

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    1. We are moving a little slower this morning (but moving, that's the important thing :-). Seeing the smooth granite and the sharp, dark gray volcanic rock right next to each other was crazy-loooking. It didn't make sense, you know?

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  3. Being up that high, was the lake water frigid? Gorgeous scenery.

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    1. The water was cold where we stuck our pinkies in at the edge, but not frigid. I suspect if I'd waded out further, I would have froze my tutu off! Up this high, all the waters (lakes, rivers) are chilly.

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  4. Mountains are so stinking BEAUTIFUL!

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  5. Reminds me of the Five Lakes hike near Jasper NP in the Canadian Rockies. That header photo is beautiful.

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